There are plenty of reasons to care about climate change. It’s a very real phenomenon, 97% of scientists agree, and is definitely human caused unlike any other period such as the last ice age. The primary difference between natural climate change and what we are experiencing now is the severe rate at which it is happening and when it began. It’s true that global temperature fluctuations are perfectly normal. What’s not normal is when a huge spike occurs in a small amount of time and does not show any signs of coming back. With the continued rise of pollutants, the temperature rises right alongside it; this is proof alone that it is not a natural temperature fluctuation and it is not something which will resolve itself if mankind continues to live like we do.
Most of the reasons to be concerned about global warming are huge ones, like how the continuation of the human race literally depends on it. However, I’ve compiled a list of less-discussed reasons to care.
The great coral reefs are dying.
We all know that the ice caps are melting leading to the death of numerous species,
most commonly discussed species is the polar bear, but a group of animals suffering just as much is marine life which live in reef ecosystems. Reefs play an intensely important role in nature. Besides harboring a massively diverse system which is worth protecting by itself, the reefs’ functions range from protecting coastlines to assisting with fixing carbon and nitrogen levels. It’s estimated that 93% of the Great Barrier Reef, something which used to be one of the grandest natural treasures in the world, is now suffering from the effects of coral bleaching caused by rising ocean temperatures.
There’s been a rise in insomnia and general sleep problems.
Studies show that rising temperatures due to global warming is causing an upset with sleep quality and for many people has even caused or worsened insomnia. This stems from a global average rise in temperature. Temperature and sleep are directly linked and the suggested temperature for sleep is between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Where I live it typically does not reach this temperature range during the nights of the warmer months and if it does it does not happen until halfway through the night. Many places don’t reach this temperature range at all anymore, not ever during the night of warmer months. This is really bad news for people who don’t have the money to use air conditioning constantly or don’t want to waste that much power. Lack of sleep can cause numerous health problems and can increase the risk of accidents of all kinds due to lack of focus.
Invasive plant species are thriving and harming ecosystems.
With the increase in the duration of plant blooming seasons, this opens up room for invasive species to thrive. Invasive plants are damaging to ecosystems as a whole because they add to the competition of harmless, native plants; they can even grow out of their natural limits and become more aggressive in this competition. With the spread of invasive species, they bring disease and insects which disrupt the natural order; this goes further to negatively impact all other aspects of the ecosystem, throwing it out of alignment, and can even damage wildlife if an invasive species take over their natural habitat or brings new wildlife along with it.
Diseases are becoming more widespread and new ones are awakening.
Bacteria, viruses, and fungi which are usually limited by seasonal changes are surviving longer periods due to an overall rise in global temperature. Disease thrives in warmer conditions, so when the entire world becomes a warmer condition, where does that leave disease? Another grave cause for concern in terms of disease is ice caps and areas of permafrost melting and releasing disease which has been dormant for as much as millions of years. The only reason why disease management is successful is because we, humans, know what these diseases are and have studied to know how to treat and prevent them. If diseases which are unknown or were thought to have been eradicated continue to wake up due to a rise in temperature this could have even more widely spread deadly consequences. Disease spread by insects such as malaria is also at risk for larger outbreaks because of the higher temperatures.
Sea levels are rising and the severity of storms is increasing.
In the past hundred years, the ocean has risen 4 to 8 inches and can be expected to rise 11 to 38 inches in the next century. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but the number is
growing at a rapidly increasing rate and even a small shift can have damaging effects. The causes include thermal expansion and ice meltage, both caused by global warming. This increases the severity of storm surges, such as hurricanes, and increase the likelihood of disastrous flooding. Sea levels rising for those who don’t live on the mainland of a continent, but rather on an island, is even more dangerous. More water in the oceans means the destruction of homes near the water and eventually is predicted to swallow whole areas of land.
The big problem with climate change caused by mankind is it is not fully reversible. The only thing that is in our power is to stop it from getting any worse to the best of our ability. There are ways for us to do this. Some of the easiest ways are going vegan, reducing car usage or switching over to a clean energy car, voting for politicians which make climate change a priority, reducing water usage, switching to reusable products, reducing power usage, and switching over to clean energy in the household. Going green is a journey, a process, which is the whole point of me making this blog. It is something that every single one of us is capable of and should be doing. Our daily choices, what’s at the end of our fork, dictates what we want the future to be like. If we want humanity to have a future we need to make these changes. It is unacceptable to have to tell future generations on a dying planet which humankind is killing that “we did our best” when the large majority of people don’t even put a moment’s thought as to if what they’re doing every single day is helping or hurting the environment.
Are you doing everything you’re capable of doing to help the planet?
Categories: Green Living